Something different: a meme and a giveaway.

Your Refrigerator Says You Are an Adventurous Eater

You like to be surrounded by things you love. You aren’t exactly greedy, but you can be materialistic at times.  

You tend to be a fairly thrifty person. You splurge occasionally, but you’re mostly a saver.

You are a very adventurous person. You love to try new things, and you get bored very easily.

You are responsible, together, and mature. You act like an adult, even when you don’t feel like it.

You are likely to be married – and very busy.


What Do the Contents of Your Refrigerator Say About You?

Admittedly, I have a habit of taking those blogthings quizzes that are so popular on facebook. For the most part, I find they are a little like daily horoscopes: sometimes they are right in a very general sense, and sometimes they are just funny. Either way, it’s a good way to pass the time on a slow afternoon. This one, however, inspired a post.

I’ve never considered myself a particularly picky eater, but I wouldn’t really call myself “adventurous” either. My mom was not the type to cater to each of us: she made one dinner, and if we didn’t like it, we didn’t eat. As a family we usually experiment with new recipes and eat a variety of cuisines, but I don’t think we really venture far outside of our comfort zone. For example, my mom has always been one to test out new recipes one us, but they are always variations on things we already eat or contain ingredients we already eat. She isn’t likely to put sweetbread out on the table for us. For the most part, I think I have continued the tradition of staying mostly within my comfort zone when it comes to cooking. While I like trying new flavor combinations, I tend to look for recipes that contain foods I am already familiar with; if I stumble upon a recipe that combines tons of things I’ve never tried before, I likely pass it over for something else. Lately, however, I have been trying to break this habit. I’ve been making a conscious effort to experiment with new ingredients and types of cuisine over the past year.

Ironically enough, it’s Ryan, a self-professed picky eater, who has inspired this change. You see, when Ryan and I first starting dating just over five years ago, he was the pickiest eater I’ve ever encountered. He could have counted on one hand the number of things he would eat, I’m sure. Chicken parm subs, chicken fingers and fries, pizza, peanut butter and crackers, and… I think that might be it. He had never eaten Chinese or Mexican food, let alone anything any more exotic than that. He wouldn’t eat any vegetables or fruits, and the only meat he would even try was chicken. It’s been a slow process, but since we’ve been together, he’s nearly made a complete turnaround. He’s still not crazy about eating healthy (which includes eating fruits and veggies) and would probably prefer the weekly menu to have restaurant names listed versus dishes such as “Sesame-Orange Salmon” or “Lasagna”, but he has faced every new dish with an open mind.

When I first started cooking, I wouldn’t tell him what I was making or what went in it until after he ate it; now he’s typically in the kitchen with me, helping prepare the meal. He might still make a face at certain ingredients, but we haven’t really found anything that he would absolutely never eat again (except, probably, sauerkraut). In the span of five years he’s gone from eating only chicken fingers and fries to his favorite food being Mexican (especially tacos) and pork chops (remember: he only ate chicken). Gone are the days of ordering cheese only pizza or having to slowly coax him in to trying whatever new food I’ve put in front of him. He has put a tremendous amount of trust in me over the years, and, hopefully, I’ve earned it by not serving him icky food.

We work well together in this way. I have been supportive but also challenged him to step outside of his comfort zone, and in turn he has inspired me to do the same. He could not fathom eating meat, and yet now the most requested meals are pork chops, burgers, and Hamburger Helper. Things he was so afraid of and completely convinced would be disgusting have turned out to be his new favorites. What an awesome reward for opening your mind to something new! And, so, I have stretched myself as well.

Had you asked me a year ago what a list of my top 5 scariest/most hated foods was, I would have said: mustard, mayonnaise, mushrooms, tofu, and calamari. I haven’t mastered all of these yet, but I am well on my way. I should note that I didn’t just dislike mustard, I HATED it. If I was at a baseball game and the person around me had mustard on their hot dog, I would dry heave. If, by some fluke, I ordered something and mustard was on it, I couldn’t eat it. And heaven help me if any touched me! I’m not even exaggerating – I practically needed therapy to get anywhere near mustard. So I started off slowly; first there was a Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe that I wanted to try, and now I have several different kinds of mustard in my pantry as well as several recipes in my repertoire that utilize mustard. I no longer immediately discount a recipe if it has mayonnaise in it, and I have actually eaten mushrooms a few times at restaurants recently. I am planning to make both a mushroom-centered recipe and a tofu recipe soon. I’m not sure when, if ever, I’ll tackle calamari.

For me the biggest hurdle has been getting over my pre-conceived notions of what certain foods are like. I think it’s incredibly interesting what ingredients people are opposed to. I’m sure people look at my list and think, “Mustard?! I LOVE mustard!” But we all have our own tastes which is what makes food and cooking so unique.

And this brings us to the part you’ve all been waiting for–the giveaway: In honor of Spring, I will be sending out a Yankee Candle Spring Bouquet reed diffuser to one randomly-chosen reader. To enter, leave a comment listing the three ingredients you are most afraid to try and tell me why by Monday, March 30, 2009 at 8:00pm EST. I will announce the winner on Tuesday, March 31.

Yankee Candle Spring Bouquet reed diffuser

Fine Print:
-The contest begins now and will end on Monday, March 30, 2009 at 8:00pm EST.
-If you’re reading this through email or livejournal, please click through to the website and leave a comment directly on this post.
-Duplicate comments do not count.
-This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.
-The winner will be selected via random draw and will be notified by e-mail so you must leave your email address, which may be written in DOT COM format, in order for me to contact you about the prize.


March 27, 2009. recipes.


  1. Jessica replied:

    My three most feared ingredients???

    1. Smoking a pork butt. I find this incredibly hard to do. Most of the time I forget just how long one of these suckers take to do, and find myself eating at 11 at night ;(

    2. Spices, really any of them, but especially a cajun or paperika. I tend to lean towards more is better mentality, and in these case…not always.

    3. The day after you run out of stuff for dinner and you have to make it up. For some reason, I can not look in the frige and pantry and just make something up :(

  2. matt replied:

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  3. Meg replied:

    1. Calamari – it’s slimy/chewy, right?

    2. Tofu – the whole drying thing scares me.

    3. Eggplant – love it in restaurants, but the handful of times I’ve made it at home, it’s bitter. What gives?

  4. Kelly replied:

    My three most feared ingredients?
    1. Shrimp- I sorry but every time I try to eat shrimp I think of the de veining process. Makes me sick! I realize you can get them de veined but what if they miss a piece of shrimp crap! so gross!
    2. Dumplings- There always undercooked. Mushy food is not appealing.
    3. Last but certainly not least is parsnips- they taste so bitter. Am I doing something wrong. Not comfort food tasting at all!

    P.S. I love your recipe Blog!
    okay I’m done suckin up;)

  5. Kyra replied:

    1. Indoor steak grilling — it is almost always tough!

    2. Sweet breads — I love eating them but am fearful I will prepare them poorly and not like them any more!

    3. Souffle — Mine would be the one to collapse, I know it.

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